Taking care of your figure skates prolongs their life, saves you money and improves your overall mobility and performance while on the ice.
Here’s some tips to help you maintain your skates
Keep your figure skate blades sharp but not too sharp. A sharp blade grabs the ice better than a dull one. Make sure you sharpen your skates properly. Figure skates require a professional sharpening to give them the correct “edge”.
Never walk on the ground or floor with just your skate blades. Instead, always use a skate guard when you’re off the ice. If you absolutely can’t wear guards, walk on the toe picks instead of the delicate edges.
Always dry your figure skate blades thoroughly after skating. Rust is the biggest killer of blades. Each time, before you slip on your skate guards, slide your fingers (carefully) along both sides of the blade to remove the “snow,” and when you’re finished skating for the day, take your skates off and dry them with a towel. Be sure to dry both the blades and the mounting surfaces. If you have time, it is a good idea to let them sit for a couple minutes and then wipe them down again.
After drying your skates thoroughly, cover and store the blades inside of towel-like soakers. These help draw off any remaining moisture and provide a cushion for your blades inside your bag. Do not leave or store blades inside of plastic or rubber skate guards. They hold moisture and almost guarantee rust.
Keep your skate guards clean. Wipe out the insides of your guards so no grit or grime builds up over time. If your guards or soakers wear out (get thin spots or holes in the bottom) replace them right away. They won’t help you protect your blades if they’re run down or broken.
Be aware that the leather of your ice skate boots is just as susceptible to water damage as your blades are. Polish figure skating boots on a regular basis to keep them water-resistant.
Open up the boots a bit so they can air out after each skating session. Loosen the laces as far down as you can and pull up the tongue to let the boot breathe. Remember to replace the insoles with new ones if your skates begin to smell.
Figure Skate Mount Maintenance
It’s also important to maintain the proper tightness of the screws that secure your blade to the boot. They loosen over time, which can be dangerous for skating. Have an experienced figure skate technician mount blades and replace screws when necessary.
It’s important to use the right length of lace in your skates. Laces that are too long can become a hazard if they drag on the ice. However, if they are too short, you won’t be able to properly tie up your skates. Replace broken figure skate laces on a regular basis. It’s always a good idea to keep a few spare pairs in your skate bag.